It’s fall! The season for beautiful colors and reunion. What’s the most popular veggie of this season? Pumpkins! Can we combine the pumpkins and hard cider to make a "pumpkin cider" for the big day in fall? It will be a challenge, but challenge accepted by Alchema! This month, before you get your hands on Alchema device, you can try to make pumpkin cider for your Thanksgiving party!
It is not easy to make pumpkin cider, because pumpkin contains too many fibers and little sugar to be fermented by yeasts. On the other hand, the starch in pumpkin tends not to be broken down to release sugar, so pumpkin is not a traditional material for making alcoholic beverages.
To make sure the sugar is released from the pumpkins and used by the yeast to turn to alcohol, we tried two different methods to cook the pumpkins: to blend and not to blend. We found that if we blend the pumpkin soup before fermentation, it will give more pumpkin aroma to the final product. The blended pumpkin cider has beautiful and natural orange color and gives out delightful fall fragrance with a gentle earthy hint after drinking. It’s perfect to pair with roasted turkey or BBQ! On the other hand, the non-blended pumpkin cider tastes light and has a crisp mouthfeel. It is great for pairing dessert and cheese, especially campbell cheese.
For those of you who are wondering how we made it, here’s the recipe: First of all, the pumpkin needs to be boiled with sugar and raisins for at least 2 hours before cooling it down to around 64°F, which is the temperature that yeasts would enjoy. (You can decide to blend it or not depending on the flavor you want) After fermentation for about 7 days in room temperature, the pumpkin cider should be ready for your Thanksgiving party!
- A pot: to boil the pumpkins
- A thermometer: to make sure the pumpkin soup is cool.
- A blender
- A carboy: Before using it, please sanitize it with diluted sanitizer and hot water. Do not put any tap water in the carboy after you sanitize it.
- An Airlock: to seal the fermentation container and make the gas can only exit the container, not get in.
- A clean kitchen: to prevent your pumpkin cider from contamination.
- Few drops of sanitizer: To prevent the carboy from contamination, we need to use the sanitizer, which usually needs to be diluted 100-500 times. Please do read the instructions of the sanitizer you have.
- Pie pumpkin 2.2 lb
- Raisins 2 oz
- White sugar 9 oz
- Bay leaves (optional)
- Drinkable water 0.5 gallon
- Dry active cider yeast 0.1 oz
- Cut the pumpkin and boil it with raisin and sugar for 2 hours.
- Use blender to turn the cooked pumpkins into mud.
- Let the pumpkin mud cool down and put it into a clean carboy.
- While waiting for the pumpkin mud to cool down, add the yeast into a cup of clean and cool water to activate it.
- Pitch the yeast solution into the fermentation container at a cool temperature, we suggest 64 °F (18°C).
- Apply airlock to seal the fermentation container.
- After 7 days of fermentation at room temperature, the golden pumpkin cider should be finished! Enjoy it!